The coverage expansion under the Affordable Care Act relies heavily on expanding eligibility for Medicaid, which raises important questions on the efficacy of the program. Proponents of the law applaud the expansion as a windfall for low-income households, while critics maintain that Medicaid affords poor access relative to private coverage and does not measurably improve the health of beneficiaries. In an attempt to answer these questions, the Commonwealth Fund has weighed in, suggesting that Medicaid beneficiaries are, in many respects, just as well off or better in Medicaid as in private coverage. However, some are exaggerating the findings.
In eight years in office, President Bush finalized 496 major regulations. In less than six and a half years, President Obama’s regulators managed to surpass that total, issuing their 500th major regulation this week. The combined cost of major regulations from 2009 to present is a whopping $625 billion.
Some congratulations are in order for the Obama Administration. They have issued 500 “major” regulations at a pace that would make Dale Earnhardt Jr. blush. At that pace, the administration has averaged about one “major” regulation every work week. Tallying up all of the regulations with annual costs of over $100 million, the Obama Administration’s “major” regulations will cost more than $625 billion.
The Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) program was created under the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 2005, and established the first renewable fuel volume mandate in the United States. The EPA is expected to finalize its revised RFS regulations by November 30th, and if history is any indicator, that deadline may come and go without clear guidance.
The Highway Trust Fund (HTF) will run out of money at the end of July, with the exhaustion of the latest of short-term patches to its funding. What happens next? Lawmakers and policy analysts on both sides of the aisle express a desire for a long-term (5 or 6-year) fix.
A group of developing technical standards allowing cellular carriers to use unlicensed spectrum has shown promise in enhancing consumer services, but is already facing pushback from players in the industry.The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) should be agnostic as to the development in this space, especially as it considers further action or new rules for unlicensed bands. Ultimately, what is happening in the 5 GHz band highlights the perennial problems of interference and pricing in unlicensed spectrum that are intractable.
AAF President, Douglas Holtz-Eakin discusses income inequality on CNBC's Squawk Box.
After two weeks of more than $25 billion in regulatory burdens, regulators took a week off, imposing just $40 million in burdens while cutting almost 500,000 paperwork hours. Annualized costs were $40 million, compared to $402 million in benefits. A rule on motor vehicle safety led the week.
The highest court in the land has spoken and Obamacare is being implemented legally. Now the debate, properly, returns to the key question: was it a good idea? Repeatedly in recent weeks, one has heard columnists, pundits and the president assert that "In many ways this law is working better than it's supposed to.”
American Action Forum President Douglas Holtz-Eakin made the following statement today regarding the Supreme Court’s decision in King v. Burwell. "The Supreme Court’s decision ends the detour into the legality of drafting and returns the focus to the core problem with Obamacare: it is poor health insurance policy, poor health care policy, poor budget policy, and poor economic policy. Today’s ruling ensures that growth will continue to be impaired, taxes will continue to rise, dangerous entitlement spending will feed the unsustainable federal budget, and families will be burdened with expensive health insurance that provides inadequate access to actual care."